Broncos down wounded Bunnies
The Broncos have held off a spirited South Sydney outfit 30-8 on Friday night in a match that saw two players placed on report, serious injuries on both sides and a shot at a 97-year-old record go by the wayside.
Chasing the 1919 Roosters' record of keeping opponents scoreless for three consecutive weeks, the Broncos kept the Rabbitohs at bay for the first 53 minutes of the contest before lock forward Sam Burgess sought to inspire his troops with some aggressive defence.
While Burgess was warned twice for "unnecessary contact" by referee Jared Maxwell Broncos pair Adam Blair and Joe Ofahengaue were both placed on report for high shots on Adam Reynolds and Paul Carter respectively.
There were major injury concerns for both teams as well with South Sydney losing centre Hymel Hunt in the seventh minute with a pectoral injury and Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough forced off with an injury to his left knee in the 24th minute after he was caught awkwardly under the big body of Thomas Burgess.
Forced to make 63 more tackles than the Broncos in the first half, the Rabbitohs were again under pressure from the opening set of the second half before Burgess began his mission to drag his team back into the contest.
He drew the ire of the referees for heavy contact first on Josh McGuire and then Ofahengaue that sparked some mid-field push and shove that threatened to boil over into something more serious before simmering down.
On the back of consecutive penalties South Sydney set up for an attack on the right edge and after a week of criticism it was their captain Greg Inglis who scored the first points against the Broncos in 213 minutes of football.
A penalty goal four minutes later reduced the deficit to just six points before another error on halfway handed the Broncos possession and they responded with a freakish put-down to try-scoring phenomenon Corey Oates who grabbed his seventh of the season.
With the steam taken out of the Rabbitoh resistance the Broncos did what they have done to St George Illawarra and Newcastle in their past two games, piling on late points with tries to Jordan Kahu – from an audacious Ben Hunt kick from a scrum win inside their own half – and Corey Parker who carried three defenders across the line.
The Rabbitohs thought they had scored a second two minutes from full-time through Damien Cook but Inglis was ruled to have caught the ball on the inside of the lead runner and the on-field decision of 'no try' was confirmed by the review officials in the bunker.
After hammering away relentlessly at the Rabbitohs' right-edge defence for the first 33 minutes of the game the Broncos finally struck pay dirt not through an expansive backline play but a scoot from Kodi Nikorima from the back of the scrum 15 metres out from the try-line.
Denied a try by the video referee for an obstruction in the sixth minute the Broncos weren't refused a second time when an intricate play around the ruck finished with a pass from Anthony Milford to Hunt who used a quick let-foot step to find space and dive over to the left of the posts and a 14-0 lead at half-time.
Parker was again heroic for the Broncos in his record-breaking 331st game while the attacking threat of Milford was present with almost every touch of the football.
Burgess (132 run metres, 43 tackles and three offloads) and Paul Carter were both energetic in everything in they did while Inglis had nine tackle busts and ran for 156 metres in a solid display.
Brisbane Broncos 30 (Kodi Nikorima, Ben Hunt, Corey Oates, Jordan Kahu, Corey Parker tries; Corey Parker 3, Jordan Kahu 2 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 (Greg Inglis try; Adam Reynolds, Bryson Goodwin goals). Half-time: Broncos 14-0. Crowd: 40,275. On report: Joe Ofahengaue (Broncos), Adam Blair (Broncos). Holden Cup: Broncos 38-0.